Saturday, January 18, 2020

Disabled Veterans facing longer wait times for appointments outside the VA

VA inspector general warns long wait times could continue with Mission Act reforms

By Steve Beynon
Published: January 17, 2020
The inspector general said the number of patients seeking community care will increase from 684,000 to 3.7 million, now that the eligibility for veterans to seek private care has expanded under the Mission Act.

WASHINGTON — Department of Veterans Affairs patients seeking private sector health care saw a nearly two-month delay for medical appointments in 2018 and the problem could worsen under the new Mission Act, the VA Office of Inspector General reported Thursday.

The inspector general’s report based its conclusions on the region of VA hospitals that includes 1.6 million veterans across Florida, south Georgia, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. VA officials in that region referred more than 206,500 requests in 2018 for community care at clinics outside the VA network, with veterans facing a 56-day wait on average before receiving care, according to the report.
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